Donald Trump land-grab: Fury over golf course on ‘ancestral land’ claim

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President Donald Trump left hospital on Monday evening after spending three nights in a ward following his positive coronavirus test. Mr Trump, who had been administered the drugs dexamethasone and remdesivir, appeared on a balcony shortly after his release and told Americans to “get out there” and not to “be afraid” of the virus. This was despite almost 7.5 million being confirmed of testing positive for the virus, alongside more than 210,000 deaths.

Mr Trump is keen to continue on his road to November’s election as he looks to hold on to a second term in the face of his main opponent, the Democrat’s Joe Biden.

A businessman, Mr Trump has not only the presidential title to work towards, but also his global real estate business.

One of the President’s overseas ventures, a luxury hotel and golf course in Bali, Indonesia, took a hit this summer after the pandemic caused a significant economic fall out in the south-east Asian nation.

This was on top of a lack of prospective clients and tourists to frequent the “six star” resort.

Mr Trump’s Indonesia business partner, Hary Tanoesoedibjo, has since said that the business conglomerate is considering remodeling the design of the Trump-branded six-star hotel and residential venture in a bid to make the property more affordable to buyers seeking to save.

The resort – being built on top of an existing golf course – has been a controversial topic for the President, as was revealed in the 2017 documentary ‘Trump: The Company He Keeps’.

It was here that one local Balinese, Ketut Djarsanda, made the claim that the fields on which Trump’s golf course and hotel are to be built on are, in fact, his ancestral lands taken from him during the Nineties by the military government.

The film’s presenter and narrator, Mark Davis, explained: “He was forced off his hereditary land in the mid Nineties at the height of the dictatorship of President Suharto.

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“The army told him that his land was needed for a government project.”

Mr Djarsanda said: “So, the military came to my home and told me I had to lend the lands – I had to sell the land.”

General Suharto’s rule was largely characterised by a period in which Indonesians were often forced to give up their lands and property for government purposes.

While many gave in, Mr Djarsanda said he initially refused to hand over his ancestral lands.

As his neighbours around him, fearing for their lives, handed over their land, Mr Djarsanda found himself isolated, surrounded by newly government-owned fields.

Mr Davis asked Mr Djarsanda whether his land was within the Tanah Lot – the sacred area in which Mr Trump’s golf course and resort will be erected.

Mr Djarsanda said: “Yes, in the Bakri area now, inside that area.”

He went on to explain that from his property, there was no road in or out since the government now surrounded his home.


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This, he said, meant that he no longer had access to water to help grow his crops.

He explained: “Because everything was behind me, and they had already sold their land, of course, I didn’t have any water for the rice field.

“They cut the water.

“I couldn’t grow the rice.”

When Mr Davies asked: “And this is now part of the Trump Hotel?” Mr Djarsanda replied: “Yes, it’s inside.”

The documentary claimed that Mr Djarsanda ancestral home is “somewhere around the fifth green”.

It is unclear when Mr Trump’s first resort in Asia will be completed and open to the public.

The pandemic has hit Indonesia harder than the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

President Joao Widodo of Indonesia said in June that both small and large businesses had been battered by the economic fallout.

Indonesia’s economy is expected to shrink as much as 3.8 percent this quarter.

Average monthly sales of luxury cars such as Mercedes Benz and BMW plunged by 50 percent in April in May compared to the previous quarter – a snapshot of how the wealthy are holding on to their wallets.

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